Around 650 homes have been earmarked for the Abbey Retail Park in Barking.
Willmott Dixon’s private rental company, be:here, has signed a deal to acquire 1.5ha of the site from the Estates & Agency Group to develop and manage the units, subject to planning permission.
Estates & Agency Group received planning consent last year to develop a new Sainsbury’s store on the rest of the site. Demolition works to make way for the store are due to start next month.
Andrew Telfer, chief executive of Willmott Dixon’s development division, said: “Barking is a key milestone in be:here’s plans to create vibrant rental communities at scale across London and other major cities. What’s unique for us is that we will be the long-term operator of the apartments first and foremost, so our presence over many years means we have a keen interest in the success and growth of the wider community in central Barking.”
Iceni Projects is lead consultant on the project, supported by Broadway Malyan as architects, and i2 as development managers. Work will now start on a planning application, with the aim to be on site early in 2016. It is anticipated that the first homes will be available to rent in 2018.
John Rosefield, Estates & Agency Group chairman, said: “The agreement with be:here is the next stage of realising the vision for the site’s regeneration. Over the next few years there will be transformational change in this area of Barking, creating hundreds of new homes and jobs. Barking is a great place to invest and Estates & Agency Group is delighted to continue to be playing our part in the town’s ongoing regeneration.”
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